Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

For Christmas this year, we gave Lucy the experience of wading with the dolphins at the aquarium featured in the movie, Dolphin Tale.  She saw this movie in the theater and begged daily to meet Winter, the star.  We watched the webcams and read the book.  She could rattle off details about bottle nosed dolphins and she always wanted to know how long it would take to get to Clearwater Beach, Florida. 

Turns out even from Atlanta, it's a long day of driving.  Especially with a 3 year old brother.

Anyone can wade with the dolphin, for the right price, of course.  On this day, you should note it was very cold, high 40's, with a wicked wind.  We dug deep for our Minnesota roots and donned our wetsuits.  Most of the time I think Lucy was completely overwhelmed with the fact that she was actually touching and playing with a dolphin.  We bought lots of schwag to remember the experience-- tshirts, bags, mugs, bookmarks.  Because Lucy loves STUFF and she's a marketing executives dream. 

We were in the same tank as Winter, but we played with her friend named Panama.  Turns out, Winter doesn't do the shows, as she's in fairly high demand.  She also can't do most of the tricks, because of her tail amputation.  Panama was very sweet and at one point even dosed off as we rubbed her tummy.  The trainer had to wake her up to continue the show.  We also had a huge crowd gathered around the tank, maybe 100 people.  There was so much to take in and experience.

Here are the best shots of the day!

Being the little brother is really tough sometimes.